I’ve been crossdressing on and off for 50 years. In the last five, I’ve been dressing quite frequently and have become aware of the effect it has had on my persona. Recently, I’ve been trying to ascertain a clearer, positive perspective on my crossdressing – the resultant notes having been turned into this article.

A Question…and an answer

I wanted a starting point, so posing a suitable question was the best idea. “What do I feel when I crossdress?” This lead me to give thought to one of my earliest crossdressing experiences.

The first time I dressed up properly was when I was fourteen. I was home alone for about half a day. I was determined to get past wearing just underwear and got dressed in a complete outfit, borrowing my sister’s clothes. On looking in the mirror, I was absolutely delighted – ‘I’m a girl.’ As I looked harder at my reflection, I became aware that I was both “boy me” and “girl me” at the same time. Who is this dual me, I thought? If I could be this dual me then what else did I have the potential to be?

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This experience was, in a way, a defining change in my life – an inner pathway to the hidden self and its female aspect (the anima) was somehow exposed. Over the years, I have noticed other aspects of the hidden self also becoming known to me – intuitive wisdom, creative endeavours (art, poetry, music …), mystical experiences, etc. The female dimension of myself is just one aspect of my persona.

Using my early experience as the starting point to answer my question, I looked through my journal, blogs, also forums, and articles on CDH to gather more information about how crossdressers described their experiences. I made up a short “Before and After” list of various common descriptive words surrounding the point of transformation

  • Before words: sad, melancholia, stressed, negativity, boredom, feeling flat, unfocused, tired and listless, incomplete, self-divided, diminished, drab, and dysphoric.
  • The point of transformation – at some point when getting dressed – an inner response.
  • After words: happy, delighted, joy, relaxed, contentment, positive feeling about life, intensification of consciousness (holiday feeling), revitalized, feeling complete, fully me, expanded sense of self, beautiful, and euphoric.

The after list of words covers a positive, happy state.  Is crossdressing just an addiction to this positive happy state? Perhaps, a trigger for the release of ‘pleasure’ chemicals in the brain. If that’s all it is then in essence there is nothing wrong with the activity; it is only wrong in the eyes of society as it breaks the gender stereotype norm. It does however have value:

  • it enables one to have a break or timeout from our everyday male-self, acting as a de-stressor
  • it reminds you that you can be happy, joyful, and delighted
  • it fulfills a need to be beautiful

My crossdressing is goal-orientated. I keep doing it to experience a joyful ‘happy state’ which is only a natural thing to want to do. Do I need to feed the need? Perhaps so. We need new clothes and experiences for our time en femme. This is no different from everybody’s needs – we all need the stimulus of ‘newness’ to keep us in a positive state – new ideas found on reading a book, a holiday in a new place, and so on.

Exceptional Voice

An evolving persona …

I felt there was more going on within my persona once I began crossdressing regularly; I noticed progressing individuation. The female aspect of my persona had in some ways become a vehicle for change.

When I dress now there is still that point in the transformation where I change from boy me to (boy me plus girl me) and that precipitates changes in my perception of myself and how I feel. When I dress, I also feel that I become a more complete me, this complete me is greater than (boy me plus girl me). Wearing women’s clothes can be thought of as a symbolic transformation, which releases the interior feminine and other unrealised aspects of the hidden self for integration. This newly expanded self seeks expression. I feel that when I crossdress I am changing from male to ‘male plus female.’

The dysphoria I feel is the gap between everyday male me and this new happy state, the expanded self that includes my unfolding, flowering feminine aspect.

During my life, I have been aware of the changes within me, heading towards a balanced dyad of my male and female aspects (objective + subjective,  rational + intuitive, left brain + right brain, and so on). In the last few years, this feeling of inner integration has been accelerating, mainly because I made the conscious decision to let these two aspects of myself integrate.

I feel I am a unity of both my male and female aspects together.  Being both together is a completion—like the inner alchemical marriage (or conjunction.)

If I was free to dress how I chose it would be a matter of self-expression in a stage in the completion of the evolving self.


* Featured image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Roi_et_Reine_Alchimie.jpg


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    Alicen Thairms

    My name is Alicen and I'm a closet crossdresser. I've been dressing in women's clothes off and on for many years and I spend most of my time in 'man mode'. I usually dress as Alicen once every week or so when I'm home alone; mostly I potter round the house doing day to day activities and when feasible go out for a pleasant walk.

    Latest posts by Alicen Thairms (see all)

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    Active Member
    2 years ago

    Hi Alicen, Thank you for your article. At first I became quite defensive when I read them. When I dress I feel I am, ‘completely female’ or do I? The usual things get me down, such as my voice and facial hair, but I consider myself fully female. On reflection though and reading your words again, I reassessed. When I came out to my sons, I explained to them that Carla has always been within me, maybe 75% of my persona, so all I’m doing it converting the inner Carla to the outer Carla. I believe it’s similar to your… Read more »

    Kathleen De Mayer
    Active Member
    2 years ago

    Hi . Your story resembles much of us reading this. In childhood i saw my aunt getting ready for the casino. I looked at the magic dress. I wanted that too. But then years nothing except a couple of times i changed. But now since less then one year i regularly become Kathleen. And more and more i am coming home to a sort of friend a haven’t seen for a long time. More and more comfortable when i am en femme. And about a week ago i went for the first time as Kathleen to a gathering of tgirls… Read more »

    Last edited 2 years ago by Kathleen De Mayer
    Jess Hiver
    2 years ago

    That must have been quite an emotional time for you. Did you enjoy being out with others?

    Kathleen De Mayer
    Active Member
    2 years ago
    Reply to  Jess Hiver

    Hi Jess. I did enjoy my evening out for a chat and drink. It felt normal. And emotional. I especially choose a place of an hours driving from home to reduce the chance to return to home. But I put true. At the end it felt normal.
    Kisses x Kathleen

    Jess Hiver
    2 years ago
    Kathleen De Mayer
    Active Member
    2 years ago

    First time i went out as Kathleen

    Dani Grand
    Active Member
    2 years ago

    Very well written Alicen!
    I can identify with everything you have shared.

    Dani Grand
    Active Member
    2 years ago
    Reply to  Dani Grand

    Your words resonate very deeply. I’ve shared with my SO and others this simple premise: we are borne of two pieces coming into one entity. We each get 23 chromosomes from each parent. That doesn’t mean they will or do blend perfectly. Hardly. The human genome is a Rubik’s Cube. When we are conceived, hatched and raised, it is truly a crap-shoot. Our DNA is one aspect of of the science of humanity that we simply do not understand well enough to know that what happens to us isn’t part of what it is or how it is supposed to… Read more »

    Heather Harrison
    Active Member
    2 years ago

    You wrote a wonderful article that really reflects the way I’ve been trying to integrate the yin/yang energies that I have been dealing with for years. Thank you for your article and insights!

    Jane Don
    Active Member
    2 years ago

    Interesting–(Boy me & girl me)–I’m to the point that “Boy ME” is only out of necessity -If I want Luxuries like food & a roof over my head I have to work for a living–

    2 years ago

    Omg yes that helps feeling better thank you we a must have these feeling inside us.

    Christina Cross
    Active Member
    2 years ago

    “Is crossdressing just an addiction to this positive happy state?” So I am not the only one to ponder that statement. Like you, and most of us, we are still learning and coming to terms with our “dual state.” Coming to terms with our feminine side. For a long time I was afraid of it. I repressed it. But I have come to terms with it and now embrace it. I can’t deny that dressing makes me feel happy and makes me feel all of those emotions you listed. And why would we deny wanting to feel that? No more.… Read more »

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